Home Safety

Home Safety

Medications and Household Chemicals

  • Make sure all medications, caustic cleaning products (example: drain openers, toilet and oven cleaners, rust removers, etc.), automotive fluids (example: windshield washing solution and antifreeze), pesticides, fertilizer and other household chemicals are in their original containers and in a locked cabinet.
  • Make sure all dangerous products have child-resistant caps, including cleaning products and chemicals.
  • As medicines age, the chemicals inside them can change. Be sure to dispose of expired medications properly.
  • Put your poison control center number (1-800-222-1222) near every phone and make sure guests are aware of the number.

Fire Hazards

  • Check to be sure flammable and combustible liquids are stored outside in a locking shed or the garage. Gasoline must never be stored or used inside your home, even in small quantities.
  • Store matches, lighters and candles in a locked cabinet, out of children's reach.
  • Have you replaced your smoke alarms batteries this year? If not, insert new batteries in every smoke alarm.
  • If your smoke alarm is more than 10 years old, replace it. 
  • If your home has an attached garage, a fireplace or woodstove, or has appliances and equipment powered by fossil fuels (such as gas or oil), you are at risk of potential Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

Prevent Falling Hazards

  • Install grab bars and non-slip decals in all bathtubs and showers.
  • Homes with young children should install window guards to keep children from climbing up and falling out of an open upper window. Make sure window guards also have a quick release mechanism so an adult can open them in case of a fire.
  • Make sure all porches, hallways and stairwells are well lit.
  • Keep outdoor walkways and porches clean and in good repair. All steps should have a handrail. Repair broken or chipped bricks, cracks in cement and other hazards that could cause a fall.

Burns and Scalds

  • Use safety covers on electrical outlets and anti-scald devices in faucets in homes with young children.
  • Do you know the temperature of your hot water? Temperatures over 120 degrees Fahrenheit can burn a child's skin in seconds. Test your hot water at the faucet and have the water heater temperature adjusted to no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Some models can be adjusted by the homeowner. Contact your utility company with questions.
  • A fire in a fireplace can reach temperatures of 500 to 600 degrees, and the glass doors on a fireplace can get very hot. Teach children to stay at least three feet away from a fireplace.
  • If you have a fire extinguisher, learn how to use it and install it properly, near an exit; children should not be permitted to handle a fire extinguisher.

Download our free safety tip sheet.